Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 392

Yoga and Tai Chi

The process of meditation in yoga and tai chi are quite similar: to build up energy in the lower belly, and send it up to the top of the head, refining it along the way. In yoga, the energy of the body is generally balanced and manipulated through hatha yoga, which is the form of yoga most people are familiar with. In tai chi, we use the form to accomplish the same end.

After the body is opened and balanced, the intention then moves this energy up the back or along the spine. In yoga, the lower body is separated and closed off by sitting in the crossed legged position (lotus), while in tai chi we generally use a standing posture to integrate the legs with the upper body.

Most forms of yogic meditation are transcendental ( moving beyond the normal physical/mental self ), while the goal of most forms of tai chi standing is designed to experience your true Self.

Now I know I will get lots of feedback about these ideas, but this has been my experience. I studied and taught yoga back in the early 1970’s with Master Subramuniya, and Swami Vishnudevanda. Other people will have other ideas, I’m sure. It is the same with tai chi. We should only speak from our own experience, not replaying what we have heard and read.